Category Archives: Environment

What Are Your Thoughts On Downtown Parking

Downtown Riverside Parking Garage EntranceCommunity members, just a quick head’s up about a series of questions the City of Riverside will be posing to residents in the next four weeks regarding parking in the downtown area.

The first question is up and available for feedback here:

As stated in the explanatory text attached to the question, there will be new questions posted to the site each subsequent Monday – July 4, July 11 and July 18 – leading up to the next community meeting at the Convention Center from 4-5:30 p.m. on July 18.

If you could take the time to forward this email to your members so we can get their feedback, that would be greatly appreciated.

The entire listing of parking-related questions, and other questions about issues in Riverside, can be found here:

Sign-up for the mySidewalk tool being used to gather feedback is quick and easy.

Any questions about how to sign up, please go here:

Finally, I have included a flyer for the next parking meeting on July 18th if you would like to include that information in one of your upcoming eblasts.

Thank you again for being involved in our civic dialogue.

Best regards


Phil Pitchford

Communications Officer

City of Riverside


951.675.6806 (cell)

Preventing Violence Through Land Use

Community Safety by Design: Preventing Violence through Land Use


Street Art Image Of Man Lying On Ground With Trees Growing From HImDecisions about how land is used, by whom, and for what purposes hold immense potential to prevent violence before it occurs. Yet, despite the connection between land use and community safety, land use decisions are rarely made with violence prevention in mind. Developed with funding from The California Endowment, Community Safety by Design: Preventing Violence through Land Use explores the nexus of land use and neighborhood safety and analyzes the implications of the current state of practice. Using the Spectrum of Prevention as a framework, this publication offers recommendations for creating safer communities through a deeper understanding of the intersection of place and safety.

Environmental Protections at Risk as South Coast Air Quality Board Ousts its Leader


Clean Air World

Press contacts:

Kimiko Martinez, Natural Resources Defense Council, 310-434-2344 or

Shawn Dhanak, The Sierra Club, (213) 387-6528 x237  or

Environmental Protections at Risk as South Coast Air Quality Board Ousts its Leader

DIAMOND BAR, CALIF. (March 4, 2016) — Board members of the South Coast Air Quality Management District today ousted Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein after 18 years of service. Chief Financial Officer Michael O’Kelly was named interim Executive Officer.

The 7-6 vote was made after the closed session portion of a public hearing in Diamond Bar and  signals a potential shift in the Board’s priorities and political leanings, as well as interests that are influencing them. Many speculate that the move is a power grab by those with close ties to large polluters, like those in the fossil fuel industry.

The vote comes just a month after the Coastal Commission fired its Executive Director, Charles Lester, despite an overwhelming public showing of support for the leader by community members and environmental groups.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is set to vote on a vital clean air plan later this year.
Following is a statement by Morgan Wyenn, Staff Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“We are concerned that today’s vote signifies that the Board’s new members are gearing up to undermine and weaken one of the nation’s most important air regulatory agencies. The role of Executive Officer is a difficult job. But its hugely important. Our region deserves someone who has the guts to adopt and enforce needed regulations to clean up the air. Communities across the air basin have the right to the clean air and we will fight to make sure the AQMD does its job to finally make good on the promise of the Clean Air Act.”

Following is a statement by Nidia Erceg, Deputy Policy Director Coalition for Clean Air:
“Now is a pivotal time for clean air. We need to hit the accelerator on our efforts to clean up deadly pollution and advance clean energy. This board has a history of nonpartisan cooperation, and this agency is recognized nationally as a science based leader in air quality protection, but its stature and effectiveness are now threatened by political maneuvering and oil industry influence.”

Following is a statement by Evan Gillespie, My Generation Campaign Director for The Sierra Club:
“The AQMD has been hijacked by big polluters, and Dr. Wallerstein’s ouster is a very troubling sign that the Board intends to roll back the clock on air quality and public health. It’s like they’ve kidnapped the agency, the getaway vehicle is a time machine, and they’re heading to 40 years in the past, when industry could run roughshod over the community’s health.  Over the last few decades, Southern California has made tremendous progress in reducing deadly smog by putting in place stringent air quality control measures. While we have a long way to go until the air is truly breathable, we must continue to go forward not backwards.”


About the Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign is working to power California with 100% clean energy. We organize communities across the state to demand local clean energy as a way to improve air quality, create jobs, and take action against climate change. Together, we can help build a stronger and more equitable California, in which all people can breathe healthy air, all energy is clean and renewable, and everyone benefits from a successful economy and a sustainable environment.

About the Coalition for Clean Air

Since our founding in 1971, we’ve seen remarkable strides in clean air. Gone are the days when you couldn’t see the mountains if you lived next to them, when your eyes burned and when you couldn’t go outside. The only thing is — our air is still very, very bad. CCA is California’s only statewide organization working exclusively on air quality issues. From creating the idea for California’s original Smog Check program in 1981 to ensuring the first national ban on the toxic dry cleaning chemical “perc” to helping pass legislation to put 1 million electric vehicles on California’s roads by 2025, CCA has paved the way for socially and environmentally responsible air policy nationally and worldwide.Today we maintain a small, dedicated staff with offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles working toward the goal of clean air throughout California. @CleanairCA

Do Your Pipes Pose A Risk Or Contain Lead?

Galvanized Pipe With Lead

Here’s a good overview on the problem of lead in our communities. Lead in pipes, paint and gasoline. Riverside, being a older community, should review the possible impacts.

Has RPU changed out any lead pipes? Have we ever conducted a survey of our housing stock, to understand the possible depth of exposure locally?  Should the city work with county environmental health to provide educational outreach?  Are there grants for such public health education or abatement programs?

As a point made in this discussion, the impact mostly falls upon our lower income neighborhoods who reside in older housing stock.

Also, to some degree, just as the lead industry pushed back on the science on lead impacts, the PCB industry has pushed back on the science on PCBs. Something to keep in mind when considering the AG Park.

Green Festival and Summit

Wood Streets Green Team 

April 23 – Don’t Miss It!

Riverside Green Festival and Leadership Summit

Click image to download sponsorship form

You’re Invited!

Celebrate Riverside’s leadership in sustainability with a fun-filled festival and facilitated summit. Join us at Riverside Community College’s quad, garden, and digital library auditorium on April 23, 2016. This event will raise awareness, engage community, and create connections that help Riverside become more sustainable in a variety of ways.

The Green Festival will include outdoor interactive activities; themed indoor lectures and workshops; and movies with discussions. After lunch, a Summit forum will be conducted to solicit input from the community about ways that residents can partner with the city, businesses, and groups to create a “Green Renaissance” for the greater Riverside area.

Program tracks include:

✓     Local Foods

✓     Waste Prevention and Reuse

✓     Cityscapes

✓     Wildlife, Watersheds, and Native Plants.

This collaborative event will offer hands-on art, educational, and fun activities. We will provide “take-home” ideas for sustainable living and educate residents about using their “purchasing power” for the benefit of our local economy.

The City of Riverside and many community partners have undertaken a variety of efforts to make Riverside a greener, safer, and healthier place. This event will showcase those efforts and create network connections between those working toward a sustainable future.

To provide this event free to the public, we ask for your participation and/or support by considering a sponsorship.

When you support this extraordinary event, please indicate your interest and submit the enclosed form by February 15, 2016 to ensure the inclusion of your logo/credits in promotional materials. Please email high resolution logo/artwork at your earliest convenience for inclusion in the program, flyer, and social media to  

If you are unable to assist financially, please consider providing a relevant creative, educational, or fun activity. (See forms attached). Should you have any questions about sponsorship or participation, please contact Diana Ruiz at 238-8338, or Justin Scott Coe at waterscottcoe@gmail.com909-238-6199.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Green Festival and Summit.

The Green Riverside Leadership Summit Collaborative

The Green Riverside Leadership Summit (GRLS) collaborative is a group of community leaders who are working toward a more environmentally sustainable future. Riverside has held two Green Riverside Leadership Summits, one in 2012 and 2014. These events provide the opportunity for community members to collectively review progress in becoming a more sustainable city, set goals for future collaborative projects, and develop a resource network to support and promote existing programs. Join us! The GRLS collaborative is an outgrowth of Riverside’s Seizing Our Destiny initiative and is aligned with goals of the Riverside Sustainability Coalition.

Watkins Dr Trash No Match For UCR Students

In a massive show of force, UCR students scoured hillsides and arroyos to collect a trailer load of trash. Over seventy five participants from numerous fraternities.collaborated with the University Neighborhood and Friends Of Riverside’s Hills to reinvigorate Watkins Drive, Gateway to the University Neighborhood.

The morning’s haul included a well used triple recliner couch minus remote, nine tires, a bumper with plate plus thirty five bags of assorted trash. These guys climbed hills and scampered down into arroyos to retrieve the bounty.

In a straw poll at the end, students indicated an interest in a potential collaboration to help build the new C Trail in the Box Springs Mountains. It seems like a perfect legacy project for students, alumnae association and the UCR Foundation.

This batch of trash can be appreciated for a short time only. City crews will find this easily accessible at this location.

A second pile of bags of green waste and assorted construction debris is at the top of Watkins Drive at Gernert Rd. It’s up the hill.

Thanks to Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful for the tools, gloves and safety vests. There weren’t close to enough, but some of these guys worked bare handed.

Bags of green waste and assorted trash.
Bags of green waste and assorted trash.

Thanks again to Starbuck’s Canyon Crest, and Friends Of Riverside’s Hills.for the donuts.

The area is transformed because of your generosity and support.  

Watkins Dr Clean Up Nov 21 2015 (4)
Seventy five UCR Inter Fraternity Students Make A Big Trash Haul with Friends Of Riverside’s Hills and the University Neighborhood Assn.
UCR Students Picking Up Trash On Watkins Drive
UCR Students working the weeds along Watkins Drive, Gateway to the University Neighborhood
Trash Trailer
A Trailer of Trash for the Friends Of Riverside’s Hills Adopt A Street – Watkins Drive
Watkins Dr Clean Up Nov 21 2015 (2)
UCR Inter- Fraternity Council President Wade Harris and Treasurer Ben Davis and Friends Of Riverside’s Hills Kevin Dawson discussing what we can accomplish together next. Maybe a legacy project rebuilding the C Trail?